The Great Reversal: Antony Flew
There have been more than a few articles written about Antony Flew. He is a British philosopher that spent the majority of his life refuting theism. He was known by many as one of the pillars of atheism, by which many professed atheists "hung their hats." In 2004 however, this all changed, as Flew authored the book There is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind. The mere mention of Flew and his book incites anger in many people. If you don't know who Flew is, it would be analogous to the Pope renouncing his Catholic Faith or Hitler building schools for the Jewish nation -- he did a complete 180 degree turn.
So why the sudden change? Some of his more outspoken critics (people that used to uphold Flew as an eminent philosopher) are now blaming his change of heart on his old age. How boring. Have they read his book? Some argue that his contributing editor Roy Varghese actually took charge of the majority of the book. This claim has been widely rejected by many, including Flew himself. It's interesting to me that someone so revered by so many while he was a non-believer, should be so quickly written off and forgotten when (after decades of study) he finally changes his mind. I have included a link to an interview with Flew at the end of this post. You be the judge on whether or not he is "declining due to old age."
So lets discount the knee-jerk reactions of his critics and nay-sayers for the moment, and examine the more interesting question. How does someone go from one end of the spectrum to the other end? Not slightly askew mind you, but ALL the way to the other side. It occurs to me that it just may be that Flew has finally allowed himself to see the big picture. The nail in the coffin of his atheism was the recent discovery of consistent complexity in nature, specifically biology. After years of looking at the glass half empty, something happened. His book outlines several good arguments in favor of God, as well as a good many critiques as to why the atheistic beliefs of his contemporaries fail. But this still points us back to the question, "why the big change, and why now?"
May God continue to work in all of us. I believe this change of heart demonstrates that it is NEVER too late to accept (as St. Paul mentions in the book of Romans) the fact that God's creation itself is evidence to His divine existence. It just happened to take Flew until the later years of his life to see this truth. Far be it from us to consider ourselves "too intelligent" to believe in God. May we never become too educated or too learned to look up at the stars in the night sky, or a beautiful sunset and say, "there is no creator."